Wine Review: Rusack Vineyards Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2015

by Gabe Saglie, Senior Editor, Travelzoo

Winemaker Steve Gerbac runs a fantastic chardonnay program at Rusack, with bottlings that represent several prime Santa Barbara County locations – and even Catalina Island!

At under $30, this delicious chard is one of best values around, especially when you consider its pedigree: this all-Santa Maria Valley white is 28% Sierra Madre fruit and 72% grapes from the world-famous Bien Nacido Vineyard.  Barrel fermented and aged for 10 months in mostly-neutral French oak barrels, this is a layered, structured, sophisticated chardonnay that also delivers a ringing acidity and quenching flavors of pears, apples and citrus.

Open this wine in the afternoon and enjoy a glass while reclining in the grass and reading your favorite guilty-pleasure magazine, along with some dates and nuts.  Finish off the bottle at twilight, as you prepare dinner and munch on cheese and salad fixings, and as you watch the sky’s daytime glow soften into evening.

  • Label: Rusack Vineyards Chardonnay
  • Vintage: 2015
  • Source: Santa Barbara County
  • Winemaker: Steve Gerbac
  • Alcohol: 14.4%
  • Price: $28

Find out more about Rusack Vineyards at


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